Quality Improvement

An integral component of the VECCS grant is the utilization of continuous quality improvement, or CQI. CQI is an ongoing process that proactively improves program implementation by using data to analyze current efforts and identify areas that could potentially be improved. A well-functioning CQI environment is one that asks, “How can we get better?” and uses a deliberate and defined improvement process called a Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle. In a PDSA cycle, a problem is identified and studied, a potential solution is developed, and potential solutions are tested before being fully implemented. The Early Childhood Mental Health Advisory Board (ECMHAB) oversees CQI activities for the ECCS/Project SEED Virginia grant.

(1) CQI Training (Part I) : October 2013

Members of the ECMHAB were trained on the CQI process and the PDSA steps to provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to begin continuous quality improvement.

A self-assessment survey was distributed to shareholders (ECMHAB board). Its purpose was to capture what is known and unknown about the use of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) principles in five component areas:

  • professional development training
  • quality of professional development
  • role of continuous quality improvement in professional development activities
  • evaluation activities
  • data collection and analysis

The results of the survey were used to inform the CQI process and identify potential areas that could benefit from a PDSA cycle.

(2) CQI Process (Part II) : January 2014

A presentation was made to the ECMHAB to reinforce the knowledge and skills presented in October, as well as discuss the results of the self-assessment survey. While the survey identified many strengths of the training process, there were several areas identified which could benefit from further study. These included:

Cultural Competency

Analyze data on who is attending trainings to see if demographics are representative of the overall population.

Unmet Training Needs

Conduct a survey or collect available data to identify any specific gaps in training availability. Gaps may be regional, topic specific, or specialty-specific.


Map out regional processes for advertising trainings to investigate where and/or what gaps exist.

Following this meeting, members of the ECMHAB prioritized these areas in order of importance through a vote. The shareholders voted that identifying unmet training needs was the highest priority, thus this became our first CQI focus for 2014.

(3) 2014 CQI Plan: Part III : February 2014

The ECMHAB began working through the CQI/PDSA process (link to power point). The first focus was on identifying unmet early childhood mental/behavioral health training needs. In order to do so, a discussion followed to:

  • Identify what mental health trainings are currently available
  • Identify how those trainings are advertised
  • Identify any data/information currently available for this problem
  • Identify what additional data/information is needed to move forward
  • Identify any known gaps

During this discussion, it became clear that not having a centralized registry of trainings is the first barrier in this process. Thus, the initial PDSA cycle focuses on:

  • compiling a list of trainings currently available
  • identifying potential areas to improve the cataloging and advertising of these trainings

(4) CQI Part 4: Discussion and Approval of 2014 CQI Plan : March 2014

The ECMHAB was presented a proposed plan to begin addressing gaps in early childhood mental health training. The plan includes steps to:

  • Create a comprehensive list of trainings currently available (in collaboration with the ECMH professional development group and the IMH Endorsement work group)
  • Mapping each training to Level 1 and 2 competencies
  • Collecting information on each training’s target audience, cost, region(s) offered
  • Use a PDSA cycle to identify ways to improve the way trainings are advertised and cataloged
Work on this initiative is ongoing and expected to last several months.